There are callings people cannot help but answer. No matter how dangerous the path is, no matter how many people try to discourage you, it is simply what you have to do. For Delaware St. John that special calling is to bring peace to the spirits of the dead. The psychic detective works with his partner Kelly Bradford to help ghosts find relief from eternal torment.
Adventure gamers first met Delaware in The Curse of Midnight Manor. Drawn to an abandoned mansion by his recurring nightmares, Delaware struggled to uncover the terrible history of the building in an effort to free the restless spirits that dwelt within its walls. The second episode took Delaware to Maine, where the detective came upon a town that did not exist on any record. Once again Delaware had to face the paranormal and try to understand the town’s secrets.
The third volume, The Seacliff Tragedy, is continuing the story from the first two episodes. The detective is once again haunted by visions of the dead. Reaching from beyond the grave, a hundred voices are compelling Delaware to investigate an abandoned amusement park. The detective will not find peace until he gets to the bottom of this new mystery and discovers what is troubling the spirits of the dead.
A tragic collapse has killed over one hundred people at this amusement park. Shutting down after the tragic event, the site has been abandoned for four years. What is supposed to be a place of great fun and entertainment is now home to terrible dark forces. What was the cause of the terrible accident? What secrets are hidden within the walls of the Seacliff park? Why is it that strange creatures and apparitions have laid claim to this place? Delaware has to unlock the mystery. The detective has to uncover the horrible secrets of the park. But his job will be harder than ever.
Terrifying monsters known as Shadow People guard the park grounds. Delaware will have to defend himself against these creatures. If he fails, he may lose his very soul. And the Shadow People are only part of the nightmare. A stronger evil force lurks somewhere just out of Delaware’s sight. It is waiting for the right time to descend upon the detective. Delaware will need all his wit, psychic skills, and intuition to live through the night.
Fortunately, the detective will not be alone in exploring the terrifying park grounds. His partner Kelly Bradford will join him in the third volume of the series. Where Delaware has his remarkable psychic talents to help with his investigation, Kelly will have access to very special high-tech equipment. Her thermal goggles and EMF counter will help Kelly help Kelly identify areas of high paranormal activity. What is invisible to her human eyes will be revealed through technology.
With the third volume, Big Time Games will be maintaining the 2D presentation style they established during the first two chapters of the series. The game will be played from first-person perspective. Big Time Games also promises that “the story and game play remain intact from the previous games.”
Judging by the first set of screenshots, it also seems to be safe to assume that Big Time Games has maintained the eerie look and feel of the series. The early depictions of the amusement park are promising. In particular, the blurred view of the park through what we can assume to be one of the Shadow People appears to be a nice effect.
The third episode is expected to introduce a number of new features into the Delaware St. John series. The inclusion of the Shadow People alone should make things very interesting. Big Time Games president points out that players “will control Delaware as he fends off these life-draining monsters in order to investigate the remains of Seacliff Amusement Park.” While it is unclear exactly how Delaware will fight against the Shadow People, their inclusion might mean a fundamental shift in game play. The third episode could possibly deliver more of a survival horror gaming experience rather than a pure adventure one.
The Seacliff Tragedy is currently gearing up for a November 2006 release. While the game is evolving in a new direction, Big Time Games seems to be dedicated to maintain the storyline and the atmosphere of the previous volumes in the series. It looks like we will be in for another dark and twisted mystery as we investigate the Seacliff Amusement Park. It should be safe to expect plenty of creepy environments and ghost sightings.
Relying on Delaware’s psychic abilities to uncover the secrets of the park should prove to be interesting. The trusty Voice Imagery Communicator or VIC will also be available to take pictures and record sounds as needed. At the same time, having access to new tools and a second playable character through Kelly Bradford could bring new depth to the series. Running away from the monsters stalking the park and outwitting the evil forces will hopefully make for a delightfully scary experience.
Players should also expect to find out more about the greater storyline surrounding the series. It is hard to say how the new features will impact game play. But the preliminary information on the storyline and the setting are certainly intriguing. The Seacliff Tragedy should give us a welcome chance to explore an all new creepy and decidedly haunted location. Here’s hoping we’ll be able to play another successful episode of Delaware St. John this fall.